The sun wasn’t out and two men gabbed at the table in front of me while I sat down. The younger of the two, scruffy with a black mustache that could have travelled from the seventies, smelled of booze and commented on a woman’s wedges as she walked across the street. He pulled out a small bottle of white liquor and the brim of his hat twisted backwards fell back, his thoat pointed up, and he gulped it down. He took two and tossed the small bottle into the trash. I could smell the mixture from my seat one table away.
The other man, more politely dressed, wore glasses and a leather-banded watch that was brown to match his loafers. They both would say “hey, hard on,” sounding like two television Italians talking about family members named Joey.
I really couldn’t take it. They went on though, and I wouldn’t comment to make things worse. People like me aren’t welcomed here. There territory was close by and a bit east of here. The waiter came out and the older man asked for his dry wine again, getting a little upset. The younger man jumped in unnecessarily.
“Vino, vino, for my friend here.”
They didn’t even speak Italian. I always found it funny with cultures how they claimed a group, and weren’t from the place, a mysterious and displaced sense of identity. The rain began a slow clattered clicking to the cobbled ground. It was faint and my friend had slowed up and sat herself down at the table a little wet.